Putting Myself on the Hot Tamale Train

I'll admit that one of my guilty pleasures is to watch "So You Think You Can Dance." I am just so amazed by the talent on that show and find myself transported by the dancing. And one of the things the dancers are always striving for is to have the one judge, Mary Murphy, tell them they have landed on the Hot Tamale Train. Trust me - it's a good thing. Well tonight I put myself on that train by making some really great tamales for dinner. This was my first trip on the tamale land express and I have just one thing to say about the results ... WOO WOO!

I served mine up with some red and green salsa. On the side I made fried plantains (Tostones) with a sauce of lemon & pineapple juice, minced garlic, salt and chopped cilantro.

For dessert we had Ina Garten's take on s'mores just like we had on Monday. Guess you could say we had some more s'mores! Isn't that redundant? 


S'more (4 Pts)

Toasted Marshmallow between 2 Pepperidge Farm Geneva Cookies!


2 Chipotle Chicken Tamales (8 Pts)
Light Sour Cream (1 Pt)
Tostones with garlic sauce (1 Pt)
Iced Green Tea (0)

How I made the Tamales:

For the filling

1 pound chicken thighs bone in
1/2 medium onion cut in quarters
3 cloves garlic
corn kernels from 1 ear of corn (or 1/2 cup frozen kernels)
1 small chopped green pepper
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo sauce chopped + 1-2 Tbsp of the sauce
1/4 cup prepared salsa
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
salt & pepper to taste

Place chicken in a pot and cover with water. Add onion quarters and cloves of garlic. Bring water to a boil then cover and simmer until chicken is cooked (about 1.5 hrs). Remove chicken from pot and discard the skin. Then pull the meat from the bone and shred. Put two cups of the cooking liquid to the side and discard or save the rest for future use. 

In the same pot heat oil until shimmery then add the chopped onions & peppers & shredded chicken. You can also add back in the already cooked onions & garlic cloves if you want.  Cook until the chopped onions turn translucent. Then add the chipotle pepper, adobo sauce (to taste depending on how hot you like it), corn, salsa, cilantro and salt & pepper to taste. Allow mixture to cook for another 10 minutes. Put to the side and allow to cool.

For the dough

2 cups masa or corn meal flour
2 cups lukewarm reserved cooking liquid/ broth/ or water
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup lard or shortening (I used organic non hydrogenated vegetable shortening)

Whisk the dry ingredients together then add broth and mix with your hand until you have a soft dough. Finally add the shortening and beat together until fully incorporated.

To make the tamale

First soak dried corn husks in water to soften, then keep them moist under a damp towel while you assemble the tamales. Take one husk and lay it open. Spread some dough on the upper (wider) part of the husk - careful to not go all the way to the edge. 

Then place some filling in the middle.

Pull the husk closed over the filling like you are closing a trifold brochure - first one side then the other then fold the bottom portion up. This will serve to encase the meat filling in the dough. As you make the tamales, bundle every two or three together to help keep them closed and either tie them with kitchen twine, strips of corn husk or you can use kitchen grade, heat tolerant rubber bands like I did. 

Stand them up in the basket part of a steamer, cover and steam for 1 hr. 


Boars Head Ham & Salami sandwich, tomato, onion, mustard (2 Pts)
Baked Kettle Brand BBQ chips (1 Pt)
Cherries (.5 Pt)
Fresca (0)

Peach Valley Cafe, Lake Mary FL

Poached eggs, grilled tomato, asparagus & onions on dry rye toast (7 Pts)
Grits (3 Pts)
Fresh fruit (.5 Pts)
Coffee with Skim Milk (1 Pt)

Before my Morning Run - (Not pictured)

1/2 Arnold Select Multigrain round with cream cheese & SF marmalade (1 Pt)


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